“Prose: Essays and Letters by C. Liegh McInnis is a collection of thoughtful and thought provoking articles. They are wide ranging but coherent, Black nationalistic and humanistic. Mr. McInnis is an unapologetic Black nationalist who would probably respond to such a statement by asking ‘why should a Black person apologize for being a Black nationalist in America?’ His writings are that personal and searching. They reflect the fact that he has thoroughly thought through and assimilated all aspects of his philosophy.
In his letters to columnists, editors, and other literary persons as well as his discussion of political, economic, and educational issues, he exposes White America’s hypocrisy and Black America’s need to fully embrace Black nationalism as its only salvation. It is easy to say why the reviewer agrees with the writer. But it is perhaps more important to comment on the fact that the essays have crystal clear logic as well as an unusual fluency. They are almost conversational in flavor, causing them to virtually disarm an opponent. As much as the reviewer enjoyed the articles that are political, economic, and educational in nature, he learned from those that are artistic. ‘The Art of Writing,’ ‘The Ethics of Art Versus Commerce,’ and ‘The New African American Writers of Mississippi’ provide a great deal of wisdom and understanding for one who would enter the artistic world. Mr. McInnis shows himself to be something of a Renaissance man, one with a liberal education. His writings also reflect his real joy in thinking, creating, and sharing his endeavors.
It may have been sheer genius that the final piece in this collection is ‘Letter to my Wife.’ In it, one is help to understand the satisfaction and joy of an artist. But, one is also helped to see the risk in being a committed artist because of the toll it takes on his/her family life. Prose: Essays and Letters is a work that should be must reading for not just Black students and Black nationalists but anyone who would understand authentic Black America.”
Dr. Ivory Paul Phillips,
Contributing Editor, Jackson Advocate
Professor of Social Science, Jackson State University